The company’s moves to have iPhones be less dependent on the cloud and to be more encrypted could mean more user privacy
Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007 kicked off a revolution in personal information sharing. With each new iPhone improvement it’s easier to tell the world where we are, what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with.
A bit ironic then that Apple is leading the charge to reclaim privacy. Newer versions of iOS emphasize encryption, to the point where Apple says it won’t be able to unlock its customers’ phones even if law enforcement orders them to do so.
Some of the latest Android devices likewise offer encryption. But Apple recently raised the stakes—the company just bought two start-ups whose artificial intelligence technology should give iPhones greater independence from Apple’s back-end server farms, aka “the cloud.” And like on Battlestar Gallactica, if you avoid the network, it’s a lot harder for you to get hacked.
The first start-up is called Perceptio. Its deep-learning software essentially models the human brain’s ability to match patterns. iPhones could then crunch ever-larger amounts of data themselves without calling the cloud for help.
The second start-up, called VocalIQ, makes software that should help Siri better remember its conversations with iPhone users. Instead of having to go back to the Web with every request, the voice-controlled digital assistant would sometimes be able to dip into its own memory for answers.
That ability might also help Siri sound more natural and put an end to its awkward, prepackaged responses. [audio of Siri telling a joke]
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]